Interactions of tiagabine with ethosuximide in the mouse pentylenetetrazole-induced seizure model: an isobolographic analysis for non-parallel dose-response relationship curves

Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2008 Nov;378(5):483-92. doi: 10.1007/s00210-008-0305-8. Epub 2008 Jun 20.


The aim of this study was to characterize the interaction between tiagabine (TGB) and ethosuximide (ETS), two antiepileptic drugs, in pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced clonic seizures in mice using isobolographic analysis. The nature of the interaction between the drugs administered in combination was ascertained by estimating plasma and brain concentrations of ETS and TGB using fluorescence polarization immunoassay (FPIA) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results indicated that both drugs produced clear anticonvulsant effects against PTZ-induced clonic seizures in mice, but that their dose-response relationship curves (DRRCs) were not parallel, consequently necessitating the isobolographic analysis for non-parallel DRRCs. The isobolographic analysis revealed that the combination of TGB with ETS at the fixed-ratio of 1:1 exerted an additive interaction against PTZ-induced clonic seizures in mice. FPIA documented that TGB significantly elevated brain ETS concentrations (by 64%), while having no effect on plasma ETS concentrations in experimental animals. In contrast, ETS had no significant impact on plasma and brain concentrations of TGB in mice, as measured by HPLC. It can be concluded that the additive interaction between TGB and ETS at the fixed-ratio of 1:1 in the PTZ test was complicated by a significant pharmacokinetic increase in total brain ETS concentrations. At present, there are no recommendations to use this drug combination in epileptic patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / administration & dosage
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacokinetics
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Interactions
  • Ethosuximide / administration & dosage
  • Ethosuximide / pharmacokinetics
  • Ethosuximide / pharmacology*
  • Fluorescence Polarization Immunoassay
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Nipecotic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Nipecotic Acids / pharmacokinetics
  • Nipecotic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Seizures / drug therapy*
  • Tiagabine
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Anticonvulsants
  • Nipecotic Acids
  • Ethosuximide
  • Pentylenetetrazole
  • Tiagabine